Road Trip 2015, Day 12: July 5, 2015 (Washington, D.C. to Charles Town, WV)

More sights and sounds of Washington, D.C.
(click here for today's pictures)

I woke up this morning with Robby dumping clean laundry on me.  He said that he woke up at 6 and thought about the kids soaking wet socks in the dirty clothes bag and thought he would just go and see if the washers were empty.  

I busied myself folding laundry and Robby busied himself folding up the ponchos.  And all of this folding made us have to hurry.  The Wilsons beat us to the car and we shoved our stuff in the car and soon we were ready to go as well.  

Our first stop this morning was the Iwo Jima Monument.  It was just a quick stop and we jumped out and took a picture.  Then we took a quick accidental tour around the Pentagon before meeting the Wilsons again at Arlington.  Once we parked, we high tailed it up to the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Campbell pretty much cried the entire way-she was hot, she was tired, she was just not happy and she let me and everyone else around her know about it.  Finally we made it to the top of the hill and she was content again.  

We made it just in time for the changing of the gaurd.  Robby and the kids were on the steps and able to see fairly well though they were in the sun.  Whitman and I were able to see until the other soldier came up and then the crowds rushed us and we could no longer see.  I put Whitman on my shoulders and he could see enough to start saying "two mans, two mans hats."  He said this over and over again until I had to get him out of there.

From the top of the Unknown Soldier hill, we easily walked down to Kennedy's grave and then on back to our cars.  Then we headed on to the FDR Memorial-it was Sunday afternoon the day after a holiday so surely there wouldn't be anyone around and parking for our bus would be a piece of cake!  Ha!  After circling for awhile, Robby just dropped the kids and me off at FDRs for us to go on through it.  

We stopped at the gift shop to stamp our books which takes forever.  Then I received an urgent SOS call from Robby.  He was having a Robby attack (bathroom!) so I gathered the kids and told them to stay right there and ran to the street to jump in the car so Robby could run to the restroom near the kids.  

Robby had told me how to make the circle and I only circled twice when he called to say they had finished the memorial (and Robby was feeling much better) and were heading back to the car.  So while they waited on me to pick them up, they ran to see the MLK Jr. Memorial.  

I pulled onto the curb and they all hopped in and we were off to Jefferson's Memorial.  This time Robby dropped us off and we met the Wilsons.  They went to our car as Robby was told to drive off so we had to wait a few minutes as he circled trying to come and pick us up.  

Then we drove into the city and Robby dropped the Wilsons off near the White House and we parked and went to the White House visitor's center.  It took me a bit longer to get inside because they wouldn't let you bring food or drink so I had to take my bag outside and dump my food.  I didn't have much food and it was secured in a ziplock bag along with a coke bottle so I jus sat them neatly on the wall beside the trash can (and happily retrieved them when we left)

We were at the visitor's center for a minute and then walked outside to head to the Smithsonians.  Police were everywhere and my skittish child, Campbell, said "who called 911?"  They had stopped the traffic and wouldn't let anyone walk across the street so we were stuck which was fine because we were waiting anyway to see who was coming.  

A few minutes later, suv after suv zoomed by.  We couldn't see a whole lot but knew it must have been someone important.  Robby quickly found that Obama had been out playing golf at Andrew's Air Force Base and was returning to the White House.  The boys seemed to appreciate the importance of what and who we just saw.  

Speaking of boys: since the dvd player is broken in the car, that leaves Graham a lot of time to think.  My Graham is the thinker and of course these thinking time leads to question after question after question.  He is the closest kiddo to us and he takes advantage of us being so close.  Questions are a good thing but you can only answer so many questions until you feel like you are about to loose your mind though!  Robby said that when he came to DC as a little boy, he asked so many questions when he was visiting Senator Bumper's office, that they sent him a pile of books to read when he got home.  I guess, like father like son!

We then headed to the American History Smithsonian.  Just being inside any Smithsonian for even a few minutes, reminded us that you could spend a week in DC so easily.  We hit the highlights there but the main attraction was the flag that flew atop Fort McHenry (earlier in the trip, we helped change the flags at Fort McHenry)

It was at this point in the trip, that we had to say goodbye to the Wilsons.  We have been with them for 12 days and now they must head home.  My kids were pretty much devastated and Campbell said that she didn't want to go to the pool becuase there would be no one to play with.  As we kept telling everyone bye, Whitman started saying "I go bye too."  And he was right, we just had a bit more time in DC before we left the city.  The Wilsons are taking a more direct route home and will beat us home by 4 or 5 days. 

We left that Smithsonian and traveled to the next one on our visit-Air and Space.  Nothing seems to be close in DC.  Everything looks close-"oh, there is the capitol" and "look, I can see the Washington Monument."  It may look close together but it is not.  Robby cheered on the kids as much as he could saying that we were just crossing the street and going to the next building.

That was true-we were just crossing the street and going to the next building but that walk took us at least 15 minutes.  The kids pressed on but were rewarded with cokes to share and ice cream sandwiches.  This made them happy, happy-especially since it was nearing 5 and we had not had lunch nor supper-our only snack had been trail mix while walking the streets of D.C.  

Our goal was to be on the road by 6 so we didn't spend too much time in that museum.  We did stop at the Wright brothers plane.  There they had a replica of the Wright brothers house and we were quick to point out that we had been in the real Wright brothers house in Dearborn earlier on this trip.  

The kids had time to walk through an airplane and then they played in a hand on room while Robby went to get the car for us.  When he made it to the car, he text me and we headed to our meeting spot which was where we had parked last night for the fireworks.  I had written down the address and Robby and I had gone over how to get there-out these doors, cross the street, right, then left then right....but I had a slight moment of panic right when we were getting ready to leave the building-I had to ask the boys which door we had come in so I could know which one to go out!  They knew and once we were outside I remembered just where to go.  

Robby was there to pick us up in no time at all and we were on the road to our hotel tonight in West Virginia.  We had only one stop on the way-Robby and the kids all piled out of the car and stormed into 7-11.  For our last walk in D.C. Robby promised the kids that if they pressed on then we would get a special drink when we were back in the car.  So that is exactly what we did.  

The drive to our 7-11 stop was full of huge brand new houses crammed on little bitty lots.  The whole town was so quaint.  I had plenty of time to look around my surroundings because they were in theat 7-11 for at least 20 minutes.  I straightened the car, threw trash away, tried to calm Whitman (he was not happy about being left in the car) and played on my phone some and then finally they came out.

Everyone had their own icee and Robby had bought supper for everyone-hot dogs and pizza.  This is in fact our 3rd day in a row to eat hot dogs but no one complained and a hot dog even sounded good to all of us.

When they were all back in the car and the food was passed out, Anderson delightly sighed "a coke in one hand and a hot dog in the other."  I guess he was pleased with his meal!  

The drive into West Virginia was beautiful-I guess that we were in wine country but we were also in rich country.  The houses were huge and I could hardly work on my blog because I was so distracted wtih looking at everyone's houses. It didn't take long at all for us to arrive at our hotel.  

Robby told the kids that if they went inside quitely he would have a surprise for them and he did-cookies from the front desk.  Then the evening got even better for them-swimming.  This pool was outside and the water was warm. I didn't get in because of the cool breeze and mainly because I knew the room was going to be freezing when we came back inside.  

We played out in the pool for a long time and then came inside for baths and bed.  This was possibly the earliest night that we have been in our rooms and the kids are all almost asleep (10:30).  Tomorrow is a big day: Harpers Ferry.

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